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Kerala CM writes to PM for permission to raise funds

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Pinarayi Vijayan

Thiruvananthapuram, April 9 (IANS) Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to allow states to raise funds as the financial condition of all states has reached a difficult position due to diversion of funds to fight Covid-19.

“I have sought his permission to source funds from the open market. I have sought to float ‘special pandemic government funds’. I Want to increase the borrowing of our state from three to five per cent. We have asked him to see that when states take funds from external sources, it should not be included in the states’ borrowings limits,” said Vijayan while speaking to media.

Politics

Virtual rallies, PM’s letter, 1K conferences: BJP’s grand plans for 1 year of Modi 2.0

The BJP President has urged the leaders and party workers to strictly maintain social distancing norms while carrying out all these plans and proposals.

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Narendra Modi Amit Shah

New Delhi, May 25 : May 30 is a red letter day for the ruling BJP as it will mark the completion of one year of the Narendra Modi-led governments second term in power.

The first year of the second term is particularly significant for the party, as it has honoured three top promises made in its manifesto during this period — abrogation of Article 370, the Triple Talaq Act and delivering the Ram Janmabhoomi promise.

While the party had grand plans to mark the special occasion, the Covid-19 outbreak has forced it to tweak them. BJP President J.P. Nadda has taken a three-pronged approach to celebrate the first anniversary with personal, digital and virtual outreach programmers.

Personal Outreach:

The BJP plans to take a copy of a letter written by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to as many as 10 crore households across India. In the letter, Modi will seek a pledge for “Aatma Nirbhar Bharat” besides sharing some tips on battling the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, given the social distancing norms in place, BJP General Secretary Arun Singh said that each group distributing the letter will comprise two cadres only, and they will stay clear from the containment zones and the quarantine centres.

BJP has a plethora of morchas like farmers, women etc. and Nadda has instructed all the morchas to distribute face covers and sanitises to all their members.

The party will also hold press conferences at 150 media centers across India where the senior party leadership will advertise not just the “achievements” of the last one year, but also India’s “successful ability” to deal with the Covid-19 outbreak. Moreover, with the Prime Minister going big on ‘Swadeshi’, each and every BJP member will be made to take a pledge to support indigenous products.

Digital Outreach:

The party has also asked all its booth level members to create WhatsApp groups with immediate effect where Modi government’s ‘achievements’ and details of Nadda’s interaction, among other things, will be shared. Three days have been designated — May 27, 28 and 29 — to create thousands of WhatsApp groups across the length and breadth of India on a war footing.

BJP’s national mouthpiece, “Kamal Sandesh”, will issue online bulletins in the coming days. The cadres as well as leadership have been asked to inform the support base about the same so that the information penetration is maximised.

While the party is going overboard with its outreach, it is mindful that the primary concern of all Indians is about the pandemic right now. Hence, the BJP has decided to issue a short video where India’s tackling of the pandemic will be shown as a success story. All state units have been asked to translate and dub the video in local languages.

Ever since the lockdown, Nadda has been regularly video conferencing with party general secretaries and state leaderships. One video of that will also be made to portray a picture of how “reachable” the BJP President is.

Virtual rallies, 1K video conferences:

The BJP may not be in a position to hold grand rallies, but it is up for virtual rallies. “At least one big rally in smaller states and two rallies in bigger states will be organised by the party which will attended by more than 750 people,” said a statement by the BJP. These virtual rallies will be held through video conferencing.

The BJP has planned at least 1,000 video conferences to be addressed by the national and state leadership. Each interaction will be of one hour duration, out of which 40 minutes will be dedicated for the speech of the guest, while 20 minutes will be kept for question and answer.

Nadda has also tasked every morcha to addresses up to 500 congregations through video conferencing in the next seven days. They have been asked to highlight the “promises delivered” by the Modi-led BJP government. The BJP has also asked its leadership to communicate to people the scale of the government’s economic package in layman’s language.

The BJP President has urged the leaders and party workers to strictly maintain social distancing norms while carrying out all these plans and proposals.

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Disaster

Gujarat’s health infrastructure has completely collapsed, says AAP

He said that now it is high time for the BJP to come in front of the people and say why they have failed to better health infrastructure in Gujarat.

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Vijay Rupani

New Delhi, May 26 : Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party on Monday said that the health infrastructure of Gujarat has completely collapsed and accused the state’s ruling BJP of indulging in corruption.

AAP’s Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh said the Gujarat High Court’s observations have revealed the “fraud” behind BJP’s Gujarat Model.

He said that Gujarat HC has observed that the condition of the Ahmedabad Civil hospital is “pathetic” and the hospital is “as good as a dungeon, maybe even worse”.

“Heath infrastructure of Gujarat completely collapsed. In Gujarat, the N-95 masks which cost around Rs 49 are being sold at Rs 65. This means that corruption is happening in Gujarat in the health sector. The Gujarat government which is led by the BJP has also failed the poor migrant labourers,” he claimed.

Noting the BJP is ruling Gujarat for the last 25 years, he said: “It has always talked about the Gujarat model of development both across the globe and India. Till date, 865 people have died in Gujarat due to coronavirus and the number of deaths in Gujarat is the highest among all the states of India.”

Singh said “it is crystal clear that the health infrastructure of Gujarat has completely failed. These are not my personal observations, these are the observations made by the Gujarat High Court.”

He said that now it is high time for the BJP to come in front of the people and say why they have failed to better health infrastructure in Gujarat.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah are from Gujarat. The Central government earlier sent a team of experts to Gujarat to look into the health infrastructure of the state but until today has not revealed the findings of the team. I think that this is high time the BJP should come clean about the real situation of Gujarat,” said Singh.

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Modi govt insincere towards people, eco package a rude shock: Kharge

He also said that the government lost a big opportunity to provide relief to the crores of migrant workers and the poor on one hand, and the industries on the other.

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Kharge

New Delhi, May 25 : The Congress on Monday hit out at the Narendra Modi-led government over its promise of Rs 20 lakh crore economic package, accusing it of being insincere towards the people, saying the package came as a rude shock for anyone who was expecting some respite.

In a statement, Congress General Secretary Mallikarjun Kharge said that it has been 60 days since the lockdown was imposed and every sector of the Indian economy was facing a grave crisis.

“We needed a sector-wise plan and the government had 60 days of lockdown to plan for this. Sectors like tourism, hospitality, airlines, transport, retail, restaurants and construction needed very specific measures, given that they employ large numbers of people. But, it is clear from the measures announced last week that the government has either no sense of the crisis, or has plainly refused to address it to revive the economy,” he said.

Slamming the Centre, Kharge said that India’s GDP growth has been declining for the last six years, and the crisis was brewing even before the coronavirus pandemic.

“Sudden shock of the lockdown has pushed the economy from a slowdown to a complete shutdown. The government needed to revive the economy by reviving supply, demand and credit cycle with its financial package. Instead, the economic package doesn’t just prove that the government is insincere, but has failed on all fronts,” he said.

Lamenting at the government over the economic package announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his special address to nation earlier this month, Kharge said that announcements by the Prime Minister of the country should be made with a lot of deliberation and seriousness, especially during such an unprecedented crisis.

“The so called Rs 20 lakh crore economic package has now been analysed by the experts, and its total cost works out to less than one per cent of the GDP. It has come as a rude shock for anyone who was expecting some respite,” the Congress leader said.

Kharge said that the Prime Minister only “intends” to make grand headline news without taking his colleagues into confidence.

“That is perhaps why Finance Ministry was unprepared and put together such a shoddy package,” he said, adding that on May 5, the Chief Economic Advisor had specifically warned against a stimulus measure as large as Rs 20 lakh crore or 10 per cent of the GDP, saying India cannot afford it.

Kharge said that probably he was not aware that the Prime Minister was going to announce a Rs 20 lakh crore package a week later.

“In any case, it turned out that the package is worth less than one per cent of the GDP, but it shows how the government functions,” he said.

Taking a dig at the government, he further said that the economic package had no “immediate relief” for the agriculture sector, except for talking about reforms.

Today, the agriculture sector is the only bright spot which is expected to grow at 3 per cent when the GDP for the second quarter is expected to fall drastically, he said.

He further said that even top industrialists have asked direct cash transfer of Rs 5,000 to Rs 7,500 per month to the poor to boost demand.

“This would also ensure economic freedom for the poor and prevent at least 20 crore people from falling back into poverty. The government simply does not want to provide any direct relief to the poor, because it would mean endorsing the NYAY scheme that Rahul Gandhi had proposed,” Kharge said.

He also said that the government lost a big opportunity to provide relief to the crores of migrant workers and the poor on one hand, and the industries on the other.

“The relief package and the press conferences have not only exposed the apathy of the government towards the migrant workers, but also its arrogance and hypocrisy,” Kharge added.

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